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LIFE

How pesticides in fish harm sperm, how to lose weight by standing, and share chores to perk up your sex life

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 November, 2015, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 November, 2015, 12:35pm

 

Teen exposure to pesticides linked to abnormal sperm

Adolescent exposure to environmental pollutants known as organochlorines could lead to defective sperm, according to a study by scientists at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. The researchers studied sperm and blood samples taken from 90 men who lived in the Faroe Islands, an island community in the North Atlantic. The population consumes a seafood-rich diet, including pilot whale meat and blubber, which leads to higher-than-average exposures to organochlorine pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs and the main metabolite of the insecticide DDT. The scientists measured the amount of organochlorine pesticides in blood samples, as well as tested the sperm for sperm disomy, a condition in which sperm cells have an abnormal number of chromosomes. The team found that men with higher levels of the DDT metabolite and PCBs, both as adults and at the age of 14, had significantly higher rates of sperm disomy. "Most people can reduce their exposure to PCBs and DDT by cutting back on foods that are high in animal fats and choosing fish wisely," says lead author Melissa Perry.

Standing and exercise linked to lower odds of obesity

Standing for at least one-quarter of the day could reduce your obesity risk by at least a third, according to a study led by the American Cancer Society. Researchers examined reported standing habits in relation to obesity (measured through body mass index, body fat percentage and waist circumference) and metabolic risk among more than 7,000 adult patients attending the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas for preventive medicine visits from 2010 to 2015. Among men, standing a quarter of the time was linked to a 32 per cent reduced likelihood of obesity, and standing half the time linked to a 59 per cent reduced risk. But standing more than that was not associated with a lower obesity risk. In women, standing a quarter, half, and three-quarters of the time was associated with 35 per cent, 47 per cent, and 57 per cent respective reductions in the likelihood of abdominal obesity (waist circumference). No relationship between standing and metabolic syndrome was found among women or men.

Fair division of chores 'leads to better sex life'

Looking for more and better sex? If you're a man, you might consider doing the dishes once in a while.

A study out of the University of Alberta reveals that couples enjoyed more frequent and satisfying sex for both partners when men made a fair contribution to housework. The same study also found there's no relationship between the amount of housework male partners completed and the sexual functioning of a couple. Dr Matt Johnson, a family ecology professor, pored over data from a five-year study of 1,338 German couples. He found that when men perceived their contributions to the division of labour as fair, the couple engaged in more frequent sex and both male and female partners were more satisfied with their sex life. "In any relationship, the amount of housework is going to mean something different based on the couple's context, based on their own expectations for what each partner should be doing, and their comparison levels of what happens with other couples they know," Johnson says.